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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 22, 2010 1:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tighten up, beautiful jam

I am so envious of your ability to describe things in purely musical terms - it's something that I wish I could do but I have neither the ear nor the discipline to apply myself to learning how to do it. If I were to ask you about that descending riff that appears towards the end of Eyes of the World, the one that almost verges on discordancy, could you tell me what was going on there?

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Poster: csaw44 Date: Jan 22, 2010 2:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tighten up, beautiful jam

i believe eyes uses a lot of Emaj7 to jam on, but im not for sure

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Poster: GennyBenni Date: Jan 22, 2010 5:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tighten up, beautiful jam

You asked for it. Hold your breath.

The structure of Eyes, at least the 73-74 incarnation of it, usually goes like this:

Introductory riff on Emaj7 chord (everyone usually screams at this point)

First verse

First jam section/Jerry solo, on a repeating four-bar chord pattern: Emaj7 | Emaj7 | Bmin7 | Bmin7

Second verse

Second jam section/Jerry solo, on a slightly different four-bars: Emaj7 | Emaj7 | Bmin7 | Bmin7

Third verse

(The rest of the song is more or less jamming/soloing on single chords)

Jam on Emaj7, lasts any number of bars; Phil usually solos here

Jam on G#min7, usually lasts exactly 8 bars; Jerry usually solos here

Jam on Emaj7, any number of bars; Phil usually solos here

Jam on G#min7, usually lasts exactly 8 bars; Jerry solo

Jam on Emaj7, any number of bars; Jerry often joins Phil in soloing here

Jam on D#min7, usually lasts exactly 8 bars

Jam on Cdim7, usually lasts exactly 8 bars (often gets really intense - this might be the dissonant part you are talking about)

CRASH down to Emaj7, stays here for a little while

Jam on D#min7, hangs out here for a bit, then...

(*) That awesome riff in D#min7; this part is 7 bars of 7/4 time (count it!), and then the eighth bar is 6/4

(**) Drops down a half tone to Dmin7, jam here for 8 bars

(*) again

(**) again

(*) again (they usually do this riff three times)

Finally we drop back down to Dmin7 again and it stays here till the end of the song, dying out/transitioning into some other song (i.e. China Doll, Stella Blue). China Doll is in the key of D minor, so since the jam ends in D minor that transition works particularly nicely.

They sometimes would forgo the 7/4 riff at the end of the jam - on 11/14/73, they skip it and Weir brings it straight back into the Other One. They did it almost every single time they played the song during this period though - even the very first version (2/9/73) has it!

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jan 23, 2010 3:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tighten up, beautiful jam

GB - I just realised that I'd forgotten to thank you for that comprehensive breakdown of Eyes. I really do appreciate it. I play around on the guitar in a half-assed kind of way but I really have no ear at all for discerning what's going on in a piece of music. It's wonderful to have this. Thanks again.

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Poster: GennyBenni Date: Jan 24, 2010 7:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tighten up, beautiful jam

Trust me, nothing gives me greater pleasure. Well, almost nothing. I hope you can put it to good use, even if that's just being able to strum along with a nice '73 eyes! That's pretty much the extent of what I can do.